tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 16, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
06/16/14 06/16/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! what we are going to have to do is combine selective actions by our military to make sure we are going after terrorists who could harm our personnel overseas or eventually it the homeland. >> as sunni militants continue their offensive in iraq, president obama threatens to take military action but ruled out sending in ground troops. we'll be was carryout drone strikes in iraq?
washingtonas considers working with tehran to shore up their iraqi regime. we will speak with political analyst raed jarrar. then to the world cup in brazil. >> when you see a stadium being built for $500 million and there is no food on the table, there is no health care, and education has gotten worse, than a brief the kind of anger you're seeing right now. >> "brazil's dance with the devil: the world cup the olympics and the fight for democracy." we will go to rio de janeiro to speak with dave zirin. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration is reportedly considering the direct talks with iran over ways to resolve the crisis in iraq. where sunni militants have continued to gain new ground. over the weekend, militants from the islamic state of iraq and syria seized the northern town.
isis also claim to have massacred 1700 shiites soldiers in tikrit, but the number could not be verified. the united states has become evacuating workers from its embassy in baghdad. on friday, president obama ruled out sending u.s. ground troops back to iraq. >> we will not be sending u.s. troops back into combat in iraq, but i have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support iraq security forces, and i will be reviewing those options in the days ahead. >> we will have more on iraq after the headlines. u.s. army blower -- whistleblower chelsea manning has spoken out about the news in iraq. he is serving a 35 year sentence for leaking classified information to wikileaks, including the collateral murder video. showing the u.s. military helicopter strike in iraq that killed two reuters employees. in the op-ed, chelsea manning criticizes the limits placed on reporters who embed with u.s. troops and describes an
information gap between past news reports on the iraq war and information she had access to as an intelligence analyst. in news from kenya, at least 48 people have been killed in a small coastal town where gunmen attacked two hotels, a playstation, and a bank. authorities blamed the attack on the al qaeda linked somali militant group al shabab, which has carried out a series of recent attacks. a major has launched offensive in north waziristan near the border with afghanistan, mobilizing tens of
thousands of soldiers. on sunday, the military bombarded the area with airstrikes, saying it killed more than 100 militants. the accused mastermind of last week's deadly attack on the karachi airport was reportedly among the dead. the united states has long called for pakistan to launch a major assault on north waziristan, which has been a frequent target of u.s. drone strikes. the u.s. resumed strikes last week after a six-month pause, killing 14 people in a span of 12 hours. in libya, as many as 12 people have died in fighting after a renegade general lunch to renewed assault on militants in benghazi. haftar, who helped topple muammar could off he in a nato-backed uprising, has been joined by a number of army units in his bid to root out islamist militants. the violence marks the worst fighting in weeks and comes less than two weeks before libya's parliament three elections. says russia has cut off its gas supply amidst a dispute
over payment. russia's state-owned oil firm gazprom had demanded upfront payments from ukraine after it failed to repay debts. gazprom said it would continue supplying gas to other countries in europe. tensions between russia and ukraine rose over the weekend as pro-russian separatists shot down a ukrainian military transport plane, killing 49 people on board. on friday, the obama administration accused russia of sending tanks and other heavy weapons to the separatists, a unacceptable. in brazil, protests are continuing around world cup sites around the country as the tournament enters its fifth day. in the capital brasilia sunday, a protester condemned the billions of dollars brazil has been on the event. for help,e are here education, public services. we are strong. your we want to protest every day there is a game. this is the first one, that we
can say we are not scared to go into the streets. the streets today are the most important place in the city. and going into the streets is the most important democratic exercise at the moment. >> human rights groups such as amnesty international have accused the local police of using excessive force against demonstrators. in a video taken by the associated press sunday, a police officer can be seen firing what appears to be a live pistol round at protesters near marcaine a -- maracana stadium. we will directly go to the stadium for report from dave's iran later the broadcast. israeli forces have killed a palestinian and rounded up 150 others including the speaker of the palestinian parliament, as part of a massive hunt for three israeli teens who went missing in the west bank last week. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has accused the palestinian group hamas of kidnapping the teens. israeli forces have flooded residential areas, searching
homes and effectively sealing off the city of hebron. earlier today, an israeli soldier shot and killed a 20-year-old palestinian, accusing him of throwing rocks. at a rally in gaza city this morning, protesters, including hamas legislator al-masri, condemned israel's actions and voiced support for palestinian hunger strikers in israeli jails. the main reason behind attention is the israeli occupation in which did not respond to the demands of the hunger striking prisoners who have been fasting for over 50 days. there are 5000 prisoners facing slow death groups that long decades in these jails. the light of zionist is not more sacred than the life of over 5000 prisoners in the enemy's jails. we warned israel against the consequences of any stupidity, including the violation of international law. >> the search for the israeli teens, month after israeli
forces killed two palestinian teenagers in the west bank. an autopsy on one of the teenagers has confirmed he was killed by live bullets. human rights watch has called the killings an apparent war crime. afghans went to the polls saturday for the second and final round of voting in the runoff election to replace president karzai. he had of the election commission said turnout topped 7 million. numbers of thed participants in today's elections were more than 7 million, which includes 30% of women and 62% of men turned out. holding of the sector in the presidential elections was a historic event in the history of our country. this election pay big way for democratic transition of the political process from one resident to another. >> the leading candidate, a bill bdullah has wasa concerned about fraud. scattered attacks on election
day left dozens of people dead including more than 30 civilians. a roadside bomb attack killed 11 people in the north, including several election workers, while 11 men in a western province had their ink dipped fingers chopped off by the taliban as punishment for voting. official election results are expected next month. in colombia, president manuel santos has won election in a runoff. the election was seen as a referendum on the future of peace talks between colombia and farc rebels. president santos launched the peace talks in 2012 of his opponent them oscar ivan zulua ga, had heavily criticized them. it's true that it won't be easy. there are always obstacles. there are always enemies. during the campaign, many showed the skepticism regarding the possibility of achieving peace and fears that it will come at
any price. we have received their message. it will not be. and i've always said that this will not be peace with impunity. this will be peace with justice. >> u.s. military has tapped a two star general to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of army sergeant bowe bergdahl in 2009. bergdahl is undergoing medical treatment in san antonio, texas after returning to the united states last week following five years in taliban captivity. an army psychologist said his richard they should in society could take time -- said his reintegration into society could take time. >> the reality is, we don't know. there's no average time. each case is different. i think this case is particularly unique for its time, over five years. a chance to have fellowship overall. we will proceeded his pace. >> an earlier military report
found bergdahl likely walked way from his army outpost in afghanistan of his own free will, but stopped short of finding he planned to permanently desert. he had left assigned areas before and returned. bergdahl had said he was beaten, tortured, locked in a cage after trying to escape his taliban captors. a new review has found the obama administration is failing to inspect four out of 10 new higher risk oil and gas wells. the associated press reports the bureau of land management has been overwhelmed by a surge in fracking and has not been able to keep pace with inspecting high-priority wells, including those near national forests or fragile watersheds. a former blm official called the situation a disaster waiting to happen. thew report finds ceos in united states earn nearly 300 times what workers do. the economic policy institute says average ceo pay topped $15 million last year. the study excluded facebook
because is the ceo pay rate is so high, it distorts the numbers. if facebook is included, the average pay rises to $25 million, in the ceo to worker pay ratio rises to more than 500 to one. over the past 35 years, ceo compensation has risen 937%. the ceo of goldman sachs, lloyd blankfein, criticized income inequality last week during the parents on "cbs this warning." >> income inequality is a very destabilizing thing in the country. it is responsible for the divisions in the country am a which can get wider. if you can't legislate, you can do with problems. if you can do with problems, you can drive growth or the success of the country. it is something that has to be dealt with. one of the ways of dealing with that is to make the pie grow. and people are better at making the pie grow, but i have to say, too much of the gdp over the last generation is gone to too few of the people.
>> labeling find made $23 million last year, making him the highest-paid inc. ceo in the united states. massachusetts is poised to approve an $11 now or minimum wage, the highest of any state in the country. the massachusetts house is expected to approve the bill this week after it passed the state senate. governor patrick has signaled he will sign it. the bill would raise the current eight dollars hour minimum wage by one dollar each year until it reaches $11 in 2017. the move comes after the city of seattle, washington made history earlier this month i approving the gradual phase-in of a $15 hour minimum wage. ,nd the radio host casey kasem best known for hosting "american top 40 countdown" ending the voice of shaggy has died at the age of 82. beyond his radio work, he wasn't arab-american activist who championed a number of progressive causes from veganism to fighting media stereotyping of arabs. in the 1980's, he was arrested
in anti-nuclear protest in nevada and slept outside in los angeles to draw attention to homelessness. casey kasem had suffered a form of dementia. he died sunday at a hospital in washington. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the obama administration is reportedly considering reaching out to iran to find ways they could work together to help shore up the iraqi regime as sunni militants continue their offensive. u.s. officials told "the wall street journal" that the obama administration may use the iran nuclear talks starting in vienna today to broach the subject of the iraq crisis with envoys from iran. on friday, president obama ruled out sending u.s. troops back to iraq, but left open other military options. >> we will not be sending u.s.
troops back into combat in iraq, but i have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support iraq security forces, and i will be reviewing those options in the days ahead. i do want to be clear, this is not solely or even primarily a military challenge. over the past decade, american troops have made extraordinary sacrifices to get iraq ease an opportunity to claim their own future. unfortunately, iraq he readers have been unable to overcome too often the mistrust sectarian differences that has long been simmering there. and that is created vulnerabilities within the iraqi government well as the to 30 forces. >> unnamed u.s. officials told "the washington post" obama administration is now considering sending drones to iraq. the uss george h.w. bush aircraft carrier has recently
arrived in the persian gulf. the carrier is accompanied by the uss philippine sea guided missile cruiser and uss truxtun also guided missile the story her, both of which carry tomahawk souls that can reach iraq. the united states has also begun evacuating some employees them its massive embassy in baghdad. >> over the weekend, militants from isis, the islamic state of iraq and syria, seized the northern town of tal afar after a fierce fight. shiite militias are now fighting alongside the iraqi army in an effort to retake cities from isis control. this comes as isis is claiming it massacred 1700 shiites soldiers in the city of tikrit, but the claim has not been verified. graphic photos have also been published online showing masked sunni militants shooting dead captured iraqi soldiers. meanwhile in britain, former prime minister tony blair is facing widespread criticism after he suggested the current
crisis is not linked to the 2003 u.s. and british invasion of iraq. blair said -- to talk more about the crisis in iraq, we're joined by political analyst raed jarrar joining us from washington, d.c. welcome. we have spoken you so many times during the iraq war. why don't you respond first to what the former prime minister of britain said that has nothing to do with u.s. invasion and occupation in the british as well of iraq? >> i think it has everything to do with the u.s. and british-led invasion and occupation. the idea of destroying the strong sense of government and
creating three or more partitions in iraq was heavily promoted at the time. it was promoted sometimes on the political end, but many times on the demographic level we saw during the occupation of iraq, millions of iraq ease were displaced inside the country. sunnis were kicked out of what .e call now shiite provinces shiites were kicked out of what we now call sunni provinces. the same happened with kurds and christians. this ethnic cleansing happened during the occupation, laying thisds for making partitioning a reality. in retrospect, i think what is ,appening in these few weeks like an uprising in the
sunni-dominated provinces in toq, can be directly traced the divisions installed by the u.s.-led occupation in 2006. >> i am reminded of that very mundane but prophetic warning of colin powell to george bush, if you break it, you own it. but in reality, the invasion of the united states and a briton appears haslly created instability still unresolved. >> correct. in addition to that, the u.s. is still interfering in iraq. although the last few soldiers left the country at the end of 2011, the u.s. continues to supply the iraqi central government with weapons, training, and other military assistance. this year alone, the u.s. is sending billions of dollars worth of jet fighters and other
weapons. we just included $150 million in the appropriations bill for training iraqi forces. although many human rights organizations, including human rights watch, have flagged a number of iraqi security forces and militias as human rights u.s. shouldt the stop funding. so in addition to the military funding, of course, there is a lot of support to legitimize the iraq central government. this week's narrative from the u.s. side is a good example of how the u.s. has been taking one side in this conflict all along. it has been arming and supporting one side of the conflict, and the side happens to be the iraqi central government and the militias affiliated with it. >> rear admiral john kirby
confirmed over the weekend the aircraft carrier uss george h.w. to the persiante gulf. he discussed the possibility of the was carrying out what he termed kinetic strikes. thate of the capabilities we are tasked to provide options for would be kinetic strikes. which can be incredibly effective and powerful when done the right way to achieve -- what we have is an armed militant group and network threatening the internal security of iraq. >> what is your understanding of what these "kinetic strikes" are and the discussion about drone strikes that could take place? >> i think it is a fancy name of a u.s. military intervention. we have heard so many different words describing u.s. military interventions in iraq and the region and whatever you name it,
i think from the iraqi perspective, this would be yet another example of the u.s. military strike on iraq, that will not be a part of the solution. the u.s. has been arming iraq since 1991, so it has been 13 years of bombing, bombardments, or like 23 years if you count all of the years of the sanctions. none of these campaigns were ever a part of the solution. the u.s. has historically been part of the problem. i think if the u.s. were to attack iraq yet again, this will add another layer of complexity which will make the situation inside iraq worse and will threaten the was interest -- the was interest in the region and the world. the was would become an active
visit and in this very bloody conflict. >> we're going to take a break and come back to this discussion. we're talking to raed jarrar, in iraq he american blogger, political analyst, joining us from washington, d.c. what should the u.s. do? what should happen with iraq? what will happen with the iraqi regime? comell talk about maladie of the prime minister. stay with us. ♪ [music break] maladi
>> should the iraqi government request any aid from us, we will of course address it. however, we have not received any request for specific aid so far. we are prepared to provide help within the frameworks of international law and the official request of the iraq he government and nation. , i would ask you not only about the role of iran in the potential for greater corporation between the united states and the iranian government, but also the role of saudi arabia and its relationship to isis. >> let me start by saying the armed uprising in six iraqi provinces has many other players from the sunni side or the local population side that has been a lot of focus on isis because it makes a good media story. it is this crazy group where everyone is an expert now on isis and where they came from.
forells a compelling story a u.s. intervention of an extremist terrorist group, threatening the legitimate central government that is our friend. that is the narrative now. i think that is important to deconstruct because on the one hand, isis is one of many players in this uprising. it is really naïve to believe one crazy terrorist group can take 50% of iraq's territory in a week. there are many other players, including i think the most players, are the tribal leaders in all of these provinces. and there are militias. and former iraqi officials from saddam hussein government, led by the former vice president who -- there are other
the measureers like deem army and brigades. i would say there are at least 12 other players. the vast majority sa, maybe almost all who are fighting, is an iraqi unlike the image that is being thrown by the iraqi authorities. on the other hand, there's a central government that is being supported by the united states. it is mostly a compromise of shiite parties and the armies are almost exclusively shia. many local and foreign militias and forces coaches a good the --, to answer your question ,eeway, to your question according to "the guardian," there are a couple thousand iranian troops that entered iraq that most likely are from the
iranian revolutionary guard. the first images of the first iranian to be killed in iraq iranian revolutionary guards surfaced a couple of days ago. it was online. it seems a funeral today is held today. captions, thehe biography online for the one who died in iraq, seems these younger -- he is younger, has been sent to syria before. it seems there is an actual military enforcement. saudi arabia and other players have been involved very much in iraq as well. saudi arabia maintains strong relationships with the former iraqi officials, including the vice president. aboutare some rumors saudi arabia supporting some
other militant groups in iraq. let me take one step back and say this regional intervention, whether it came from iraq -- excuse me, from saudi arabia or iran or turkey or jordan or whatever, these are also sequences of the destruction of the iraqi central government in 2003 when iraq had legitimate strong government. all of these neighbors existed around iraq, but they were never able to manipulate the country and use their proxies for civil war inside the country before. and now of course, the new reality, this is how iraq looks. i think everyone from the region has their hand in iraq supporting one horse in that race. >> there's been a question of whether u.s. should intervene. they have been intervening to the tune of millions if not billions of dollars with
supporting weapons went to iraq and the government of maladie. -- maliki. can you talk about maliki and what you think needs to be done, as an iraqi yourself? >> as an iraqi, i think there are a million things that have to be done in iraq. theink iraq is going now to worst stage in its history. there are real doubts that iraq can maintain its territorial integrity because the very national identity of iraq has been destroyed. and now maybe overwritten by iraq he sectarian and tribal identities. we're talking about issues that need decades to deal with and the current iraqi government is completely dysfunctional and
incapable of resolving any of these issues. i think from an iraqi perspective, this isn't really an easy solution other than attempting to start a real dialogue. so far, the iraqi government has refused to start any dialogue. they're calling any, anyone who is supporting the uprising in the six provinces, anyone who is not complete supporter of maliki, their calling them al qaeda supporters. for god sake, yesterday, the iraqi official channels are calling -- were calling the governor ofmosul and the president of the parliament, who happened to be brothers, calling both of them isis supporters. ort is just a code for sunni member of the ruling
elite now. from an iraq perspective, seems that is the most an easy first step, which is sitting run the same table and stopping this polarization and calling anyone who does not agree with the government policies a terrorist. from the u.s. perspective, as an american, i think we do have an easier mandate, and easier solution. and that starts with not interfering militarily. it is easier than having a proactive solution. from the u.s., not sending troops, not sending more airstrikes, not sending training and weapons is actually a step in the right direction. and there are other obligations the u.s. can handle that are less controversial, such as and otheran aid
nonpolitical issues. >> how do you explain the breathtaking collapse of the iraq he army in the face of what is not really a large guerrilla force lined up against it? for ans surprising outsider i think to see how fast -- in reality, it did not really form in a week. it has been a long time. some people argue a decade, some people argue a few months. if you would just go back to january of this year the the iraq he forces attacked two unarmed peaceful protesters in iraq. this created a huge backlash against the iraqi government and the areas there has been attacks army and- by the iraqi
the militias supporting it for lisa last four months. they have been throwing bombs, getting attacked back. this is been going on and i think building the infrastructure for the council government attack has been in the making for quite a time. so it wasn't very surprising for iraqis who have been following the situation, but i think it is still a surprise that armed forces have been funded by tens of billions of dollars which just collapsed in a couple of days. it shows how fragile and dysfunctional the entire iraqi military system is. and the fact the iraqi parliament failed to meet to pass martial laws, because they could not get a quorum, it shows how dysfunctional the political
system continues to be. >> raed jarrar, i would ask about what is happening with the kurdish forces, what role they have been playing in the wake of the isis insurgency, what is happening with the takeover of kirk up by the kurds. this is the brigadier journal speaking. because of the security situation, the forces have taken over the position for the 12 infantry brigade who abandoned their post and soldiers abandoned and fled. because of the collapse of the morale, they cannot defend themselves and therefore they fled. in order to prevent them from taking over the positions, higher orders were issued first to move and take peace positions. >> can you talk about this in a -- the significance of the kurds taking over in this oil-rich city in northern iraq?
and there's this breaking news, john kerry has just spoken, secretary of state, saying the u.s. is opening talks with iran over iraq and won't relent military cooperation. he says u.s. drone strikes may well be an option to stem isil advances in iraq. >> it is very interesting to see the dynamic now between the uprising forces and the sunni provinces and the kurdish authorities because the iraqi central media has been criticizing the kurdish authorities in the last couple of days saying they betrayed the maliki,ships with , likenating with rebels this type of accusations. things on the ground suggest there might be some coordination
between the uprising forces and the kurdish forces. clashese very minor between the two sides. so there might be some sort of political coordination. keep in mind, the former iraqi ,ice president of this regime who fled to turkey a few years ago, came out yesterday in support of the uprising in the six provinces. he called it the iraqi strength, very romantic for how destructive the situation has been. -- he maintains a very roush very strong relationships with the other side. many were saying that as maybe he has been leading these correlations between what is going on in the sunni provinces. >> i just want to correct something in the breaking news, john kerry said that the u.s. is open to talks, not has opened talks.
but the significance of this? >> it is not very significant. i have been personally speaking about how the u.s. and iran are in the sum bunker when it comes to iraq. i've been saying that for over six or seven years. it doesn't add up for the u.s. audience is because we are used to seeing the u.s. and iran at odds. partsre at odds in other in the work, but iraq, collaboration started very strongly from day one. iran played a strong role in toppling the former iraqi government and u.s. played a very proactive, collaborative role with iran all along. so that never stopped saying adding a negotiating table, doesn't make any sense. both sides are fighting on the same side. it is like saying the u.s. and maliki will negotiate over how to fight against the uprising.
well, they're on the same side. if you want to negotiate with someone, i would say we have to reach out to the other side, people who are involved in the uprising, whether they are tribal leaders in the six provinces or former officials who are flooding back to the country in a former army officers who are running these operations, running fighter jets, for god sake. there are two fighter jets that were seen yesterday attacking iraq he army, flying out of mosul. it gives you a hint of the institutions behind the uprising. you can't train to pilots in a day. these people have to know what they're doing. we're not sure who they are, but i think bringing them to the table is the right step rather than negotiating with people who we agree with and people who we have been supporting all along. >> raed jarrar, thank you for
is entering its fifth day. the united states team will play its first game of the tournament today against ghana. meanwhile, protester continuing on the streets of brazil. the demonstrators concerns range from public transportation fare hikes to inadequate wages, housing, education, security and health care among other things. strikes and the threat of strikes have emanated from almost every sector of brazilian society. including airline employees from a metro workers, teachers and homeless workers to police and even the main federal employees union. many brazilians have expressed fury over brazil spending an estimated $11 billion to host the cup while the country's hospitals and schools remain woefully underfunded. >> brazilian president dilma rousseff was the target of crude chants sung by part of the crowd who attended brazil's victory game against croatia. rousseff, facing reelection in october, said she would not be
intimidated by the crowds criticism. insults will not intimidate me. i will not be cowered. upset not let myself get by insults the cannot even be heard by children or families. >> them a rousseff, the president of brazil, was once jailed herself as a political prisoner. she went on to say "in my life, i faced extremely difficult situations the situations that pushed me to my physical limits. what i had to endure them was not verbal aggression, but physical aggression." hundreds of demonstrations against the world cup have erupted all over brazil over the last year. human rights groups such as amnesty international have accused the local police of using excessive force against demonstrators. in a video taken by the associate press on sunday, a police officer can be seen firing what appears to be a live
pistol round at anti-world cup protesters in rio de janeiro's maracana soccer stadium. police have reportedly also used tear gas, rubber bullets, noise bombs to disperse demonstrators. protest organizers said brazilians will continue fighting for the rights despite the dangers they face. we are here for help, education, and public services. this is a public protest and we are strong. we want to protest every day there is a game. this is the first one, but we can say we are not scared to go into the streets. the streets today are the most important place in the city. and going into the streets as the most important democratic exercise at the moment. >> from war we now go to rio de janeiro, brazil where we are joined by dave zirin, host of edge of sports radio on sirius/xm. he is author of copper "brazil's dance with the devil: the world cup the olympics and the fight for democracy." he is in rio covering the 2014 world cup and joins us from
outside maracana stadium. yesterday you your self were tear gassed. can you describe the scene? >> absolutely. if you look behind me, you see maracana stadium. that is arguably the most famous stadium on the planet. last night, it was hosting its first world cup game in 64 years . in protest of everything that fifa and the world cup are bringing to brazil, a of about 500 people marched down the street to my left on maracana avenue come in to get as close to the exclusion zone around the stadium, several block radius, that prevents people without tickets from even walking the streets of brazil. iran ahead with my cameraman about two blocks ahead to be able to capture what would happen when the protesters met with police. about a block and a half in front of the protesters, i saw a series of riot police come out of these wagons. they were dressed in full
regalia, gas masks, shields, all the rest of it. they started beating their shields in rhythmic fashion. about 200 tourist were sitting at an outdoor café and started to chant for the police, a soccer chant started as a -- then the police fired tear gas about a block and a half for the protesters. a guy their trajectory wrong and the tear gas landed just about 100 yards in front of them and then a headwind blew the tear gas onto the tourists the sending 200 scattering were cheering for the police just moments ago, scattering in utter panic. the tear gas blue on me as well. the police stopped their trajectory and fired by my count to more canisters of tear gas, concussion grenades as well, which then served to disperse the 500 person protest and later was the incident that the ap reported of an officer actually firing live ammunition. that i did not see, but frankly,
i was not sing a great deal at that point anyway. >> dave, the whole issue of protests, especially of the destruction of favela near some of the stadium? >> absolutely. right to my right, literally a five minute walk from maracana stadium, which remember is the sistine chapel of international soccer, as a place called favela which was the home of 700 families. right now it is the home of no families. it has been completely not to the ground. d to the ground. it is just rubble and rats, waste. it is an absolute calamity. you see little pieces of what used to be people's homes, broken dolls, furniture, all the rest of it. and the plan was to knock down the favela and build a parking lot. the parking lot has yet to be built. it is just piles and mountains
of rubble. we spoke to some of the people there, workers, who were actually charged with clearing it out so supposedly the parking lot to be ready for the 2016 olympics, which are going to be held in rio with the opening ceremony taking place. what was very upsetting about it speaking my translator to the workers themselves, is that they all lived in favela, so they were favela residents themselves and there were the people who were hired to actually knock down the favelas and clear the areas. it is a shame and a sin. we asked him how it felt to be favelas knocking down the favela of others. they used the word in brazilian which does not have a translation in u.s. but is that it made them feel strange in my heart to have to be in that situation. >> what happened to the 700 families that were removed? were they even benefits or
relocated? >> that is the right question to ask because this is the lesson that a lot of people from brazil are drawing. the first 100 of the 700 families were removed literally within 24 hours after brazil was awarded the 2016 olympics. they were removed at gunpoint. there are things were thrown out into the streets. they were just gone. they called it the cleansing. the other 600 families took note of this and started to organize. they organized a test and sued the city -- protest and sued the city. they pooled their money's to hire attorneys who also worked pro bono as well. those 600 families were actually given rent vouchers and located just a couple of miles away, which is about a good a deal as you're going to get from the brazilian government. the lesson -- >> i want to turn to a favela
resident who helped coordinate a peoples world cup. >> we have -- no one has to pay and everyone place. it is free. the world cup. poor people don't go. no one can pay to go to the world cup in brazil, even though we are brazilians. we don't have anything more to say about the world cup. it is better that we organize our group which is free. we have to be our own timidity. if you wait for the government, you won't get anything. .> that was a favela activist how would you describe a favela for those who are not familiar? is a community. the tragedy is, often time, and you'll see this in the most mainstream of u.s. press, is that it is translated directly as a slum, which couldn't be
further from the truth. if you look at the human definition of slum, which means destitute and even joy less is how it is described. favelas are were people create their own makeshift communities and exist because brazil has had some of the strongest squatters rights laws in the world first century. i don't to sound like i'm glamorizing the poverty and real challenges, these are active, vibrant, cultural centers that make up or really set a kind of cultural capital for all of brazil were what we think of as brazilians, so much so that a sports bar in milwaukee even set up a fake favela as a way to bring in world cup fans to drink and watch the world cup. that is it's kind of cultural capital, the problem of course is they don't benefit from .reating that cultural capital that being said, there also you believe brazil have lived here
for decades that have never set foot inside a favela. they look at favelas with tremendous disrespect and the government has used this as an opportunity to take the land. that is what is important for people to know. rio is undergoing a real estate speculative boom. is lan the favelas are on powerful. it is known as a state of exception to grab the land, remove them and develop it. >> i want to ask you, given the fact both the world cup and the olympics were brought to brazil by perhaps the most popular president in history of latin america, and a workers party leader, and at the same time, brazil has seen a shrinking of the gap between rich and poor lula andirst the demo rousseff regime. how is this occurring at
incoming quality supposedly has been reduced to some degree in brazil? >> great question, although i will add inequality has been reduced everywhere except for rio, the site of the olympics. that is absolutely the right question. the would answer is, lula fought four and one for both the old ethics in world cup on the brazilian economy humming along at a 7% annual growth rate. the christ the redeemer statue, blasting off like a rocket ship. it was thought, ok, rio is a new world power, barely felt the 2000 a recession, and brazil -- brazil, i'm sorry, now the fifth largest economy in the world and the world cup analytics would be announcing brazil as this new world power. there's only one problem, and that is the economy went into slow down. when that took place, fifa and the ioc frankly the care less. -- frankly, could care less.
that is what has been so going to the people of brazil, the expectations were raised so high and yet these events are coming, the money is to going into them. get the very money for social services that were really paid for by the exporting to china and by the discovery of oil effectively buying your liberalism, that kind of stuff proved to be very illusory some people are feeling like they're falling back right at the moment when the stadiums are being built. >> can you talk about socrates, well-known soccer player in brazil? >> socrates was the captain of the 1982 brazilian world cup team. that team did not actually when the world cup, but it is arguably the most loved team in the history of brazil. socrates passed away couple of years ago, way too young. we miss his voice terribly because socrates was also someone who was a proud radical. he considers himself a socialist. during the dictatorship in brazil, his team actually organize themselves the
socialist cell, even though they were champy winning team as they played packed arenas, there were also wearing anti-dictatorship slogans on their headbands and jerseys. they were voting on team substitution issues and they were so popular that the dictatorship could not touch them. before socrates died, even when brazil was humming along at that 7% growth clip and was on the cover of the economist, socrates was issuing very dark warnings about what the world cup in the olympics could bring, particularly because he said it seems like the world cup was going to shut out the poor brazil, exactly what the favela from são paulo said earlier in your clip that the world cup was going to be for tourists and the wealthy and would hurt the development of brazilian soccer because it was going to alienate people from soccer. berates words proved to property. it is to our collective loss that he is not still with us today to be able to speak about this as the world cup has returned to brazil. >> dave, in terms of the people
actually attending the games, to what degree from what you been able -- i've seen some stadiums at some of the games that are not very full. to what sense are the ordinary folks of brazil or latin america able to attend these games? >> definitely, latin america sports has huge disparities in rich and poor and this is a destination point for latin america. inside last night's game, which was argentina against bosnia, the team played at the maracana, was filled with tens of thousands of argentinians in the stands. they were there to cheer on their team. this is part of what you see, you see brazil been this destination point for what is called world cup tourism. it is incredibly expensive to be able to even find a place to stay in rio right now. you need to be able to have thousands of dollars of disposable income do you think it inside the exclusion zone, a similar amount of money is needed.
for brazilians, there's a wealthy strata of brazilians they're following around the world cup is well-liked people in my follow around a grateful dead concert to the 12 different cities where there are world cup games, yet the problem is, as you said, ordinary brazilians, very unlike the 1950 world cup brazil hosted and was taxed with ordinary working-class brazilians, those are the folks who are being left behind. very symbolized by the maracana which used to sit 225,000 people back in 1950, was filled with 1/10 of the population of the city of rio, not only sit 75,000 because of the existence of luxury boxes. >> quickly, the elections -- presidential elections are in october. dilma rousseff, very unpopular stillound soccer, is leading in those polls. the significance of that and the corruption of fifa? >> absolutely. the significance of dilma rousseff leading in the polls is because the alternatives are
people who are not connecting with the protest since the because the people who are most likely to compete with doma tends to be to the right of dilma to make the issues of the world cup and fisa issues about corruption and not talking about the real estate people are really underwriting a lot of this. a lot of the same corporate interests, big media interest are also supporting those i went candidates and i think that is why most political observers here see a very damaged dilma still winning the election in october. >> we will leave fifa to another discussion. dave zirin, thank you for being with us, author of, "brazil's dance with the devil: the world cup the olympics and the fight for democracy." thank you so much for joining us. a very special congratulations to steve martinez, our producer, whose sons graduated eighth grade. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]